I like to think that my love for dogs is unbiased.  When I was fostering, most of the dogs had issues.  Most of these were fear-based, some of them due to under-socialization.  Their issues did not make me dislike them or find them exhausting.  In fact, I found myself drawn to the dogs that needed my help.  I loved watching them grow and become more comfortable.  The same goes for the dogs at work.  During my first job, it seemed as though many of the fearful dogs bonded with me and I LOVED that they trusted me enough to open up.  Earning a dog’s trust makes the relationship so much more rewarding, in my opinion.

Even though I’m open to adopting a second dog with some fear or behavioral issues to work through, one special guy has me longing for that happy-go-lucky companion.  You know the one: dog park approved, happy to meet anyone and everyone, obedient and submissive but still confident in himself.  Oh goodness, doesn’t that sound lovely?


The Murph!

Murphy is a goldendoodle, but don’t hold this against him 😉  He is an absolute joy to be around.  He cracks me up at work and I always look forward to having him in my play group.  He can be a little barky when he gets excited, but he’s still a youngster in learning mode.  Of course he already has a wonderful family, but I do know that other dogs like him exist.  They’re out there, right??


Rufus searching for his perfect companion.

Don’t get me wrong – I looooooooooove my Rufus and all of his quirks.  But maybe it would do him some good to share his time with a well-balanced dog??  One that could show him how to lighten up in certain situations.  I think a dog like Murphy would be a great balance of fun while also allowing Rufus his own space.  Rufus is a man that needs limits, and that’s ok too.

Of course I’m just daydreaming right now, but it sure is fun to do.  Do you have a happy-go-lucky dog, or do you prefer a challenge?   Or do you have one (or more) of each, and if so how do they get along? I’d love to hear your experiences.



14 thoughts on “Happy-Go-Lucky

  1. I’ve got one of each! Boomer, the older of the two, has always been pretty laid back and loves everyone, his biggest issue is that he gets too excited and makes an ass of himself sometimes. Dottie, on the other hand, is the younger and she’s so nervous in certain situations, having Boomer there will help but sometimes it’s just too much for her.

    • Labs are often a safe bet for easy going guys and gals, but of course there are always exceptions to the rule. It’s interesting that your youngest one is more nervous – you would think that her confident big brother would have shown her the ropes. Did you adopt her as a puppy? It’s really interesting to think that dogs are born with certain personality traits, just like humans. Not all of it can be learned.

  2. I’m often thinking the same thing, too! Secretly (or not-so-secretly!), I keep waiting for that next foster who is a goofy, happy-go-lucky male without any fears… and then we’d just keep him forever. (Although I feel like that dog in GSD rescue is probably one in a 100!) We’ll keep daydreaming.

    • Haha, although I’m sure it’s hard to find a happy-go-lucky GSD, it’s certainly not impossible! We currently have a border collie in daycare that has zero of the normal attributes. He’s been coming since he was 6 months old (now almost a year) and he’s the sweetest, most easy going and gentle guy we have. No herding, no bossy attitude, and no obsessive behavior. He’s great.

  3. It’s true, the dogs that need us more can be so rewarding, but with my 2 happy-go-lucky dogs, I can’t complain! And I’ve learned that no matter how “easy” a dog is, there’s always new things to work on and victories along the way(ie: Norman is just now learning how to get in the car on his own:)

    • I have to admit that I am constantly in awe of your pack – cats included, and I’m not even a big cat fan! Do you think it helped that you had both of them at such a young age? While I don’t consider myself a puppy person, I’m seriously considering it more and more for various reasons.

      • It probably did help getting them as puppies but I learned after the fact that even at 2-3 months old puppies can tell you so much about their personalities. When I met Kaya, she climbed on me, nibbled on my necklace and clothes and investigated the whole room while I was trying to get her attention. I thought hey, that’s just what puppies do, and excitedly brought her home. She was over-confident, stubborn and started to have aggression issues at the dog park. I learned the hard way that she needed a lot more training and a lot less freedom:/ When she was about 1, I was finally figuring her out and now I don’t think twice about letting her run off leash, play with other dogs and know she’ll always listen to me.

        Norman, on the other hand, I met at the same age and he sat calmly at my feet and when I sat down he didn’t climb on me but offered many kisses when I petted him and leaned my face towards his. And he had a lot less interest in the surroundings. He’s been easy ever since. So ya, I think with puppies, the key is finding one that is not too timid, but not too confident and obviously, some take a whole lot more work than others!

        And yes, I think it was a huge asset raising them with cats. I think all puppies should be raised with one (even if it’s just a foster cat) to teach impulse control and behavior around small animals:)

  4. Happy-go-lucky dogs are the bomb but since there are a select few of us that are willing (and happy!) to put the effort in with “special” dogs, I feel almost guilty when I catch myself longing for a perfect happy-go-lucky dog. Don’t get me wrong, I’m with you in that I looooooove my dogs but they each have their own sort of issue.

    That said, my two permanent dogs (while not perfect) are pretty confident and handle most situations pretty well. They have been an ENORMOUS help with foster dogs that have “issue” because the new dogs seem to take cues from my two and it helps build their confidence. My current foster has come light years in the time that I’ve had her and I honestly attribute a lot of that to my two dogs helping her learn and giving her a point of reference. I think it would be great if you decided to go for that “perfect” dog!

    • You’re so right about the lack of people will to work with dogs with issues. I definitely feel as though I’m willing to deal with more than the average person, as I’m sure you and most of us that have worked with rescues are.

      Your two see like they are great role models for Maggie. I will say that despite his issues, Rufus did help our last foster find her “chill zone”, which I was very grateful for 🙂

  5. I hope you and Rufus find a new companion soon:) Alex, my 11 year old pit bull/dogo argentine mix, loves people and likes dogs. She prefers people over dogs. I am the complete opposite. Anyway, I am a pet sitter and I get dogs of all sizes, breeds, temperaments, etc., and she does very well with all of them. She, in my opinion, is perfect for what I do because she is always happy to see another dog, but she backs off when she senses that the other dog is not friendly. She enjoys having other dogs to hang out with, but once all the dogs are back home, she has a smile from ear to ear. I think that she enjoys their company very much, but she loves when she is the only dog at home because she gets pampered, loved, kissed, hugged, etc. more than when we have furry friends. The “perfect” dog is something, in my opinion, very subjective. For me the perfect dog is Alex because she is funny, loving, gets along with other dogs, playful and much more, but because she has been very active most of her life, except for the last 6 months due to a soft tissue injury, she would not have been a good fit for a sedentary person. Until about a year or two ago, I had to make her run once or twice a week because the hour twice a day was not enough. If she had gone to a busy family, she would have been taken back to the shelter because that would not have been a good fit. I am glad you are planning to add a new member to your family and the perfect dog is what you think is the perfect dog:)

  6. It can be a tough decision to make, bringing a new dog into a home with one that already has issues. In our home, one of our guys is a “secondhand” dog with some socialization issues and the other is a puppy that can get a little rambunctious from time-to-time. We know that Darcy had the ability to get along with other dogs as he has a few friends from his agility classes, as long as he is introduced very very slowly and calmly. He had also lived with much older, geriatric dogs before, who didn’t really pay much attention to him, but he did understand that other dogs could share his living space.

    It took about a month for him to understand and accept the puppy as part of our pack. Of course, not everything was pretty and perfect. The puppy was leashed almost all of the time and it was up to Darcy to decide when, and if, he wanted to approach. We went through some initial issues of growling and snapping but Darcy learned that certain behaviours were unacceptable while the puppy learned that he can’t just rush up and bite on Darcy’s ears whenever he so chose. We are now three months into the new adjustment and Darcy and Ebenezer are the best of friends. Ebenezer will snuggle right up next to Darcy and Darcy allows the puppy to initiate play and has learned how to be gentle. When we take them for walks and they get too far away from each other (i.e. in a busy market), they look for one another and do not relax until they are reunited in a clearing.

    Sometimes the best challenges also present the best rewards. Our boys have bonded and adjusted together better and faster than we had expected. We know that Darcy may never get over his reactive, fearfulness of strange dogs but at least he has a buddy that he can play with and rely on in his own house, where he can feel safe and calm.

    • This is incredibly encouraging 🙂 I know that Rufus can live peacefully with another dog as we have fostered with him. He never LOVED either of the pittie girls, but he has some great friends of a mellower temperament. We just need to find a good match.

  7. I’d like to think I prefer the happy-go-lucky dog, but I’ve never had one! I’m sure I’ll always own “pit bull type dogs” but I don’t have the Perfect Pit Bull that you could put in any situation no problem. I sort of dream of owning that type of dog one day! But I love my dogs, I like knowing that we’ve stuck by their side despite the difficulties.

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